Future of Veggie Compass
The Veggie Compass research team is committed to continuing to improve Veggie Compass and welcomes your input and suggestions.
Options under consideration for the future include a Veggie Compass application for labor tracking for use with hand-held devices such as tablets or smart phones. By simplifying the labor data collection effort, growers would more easily record hard to capture cost of production labor hours.
Another possibility is a refined and interactive web-based version of Veggie Compass down the road. It is envisioned to be a secure program accessible via the Web, eliminating the need for growers to have Excel skills. Participating growers would have the option of (anonymously) sharing yield, price, cost, and sale data so that everyone could compare and learn from a collective database organized by farm scale and level of mechanization.
Education and Training
The Veggie Compass team welcomes invitations to conduct (fee for service) trainings. If you would like to host a Veggie Compass training in your area, contact John Hendrickson to discuss costs and scheduling.
Several members of the Veggie Compass team have received funding to take the Veggie Compass Project in exciting new directions in 2014 and beyond. A Specialty Crop Block Grant has been secured to conduct time and technique studies. This will entail documenting the time it takes to perform tasks such as seeding, transplanting, weed cultivation, harvest and post harvest handling on farms using different tools, equipment and management approaches. For example, we will compare hand weeding with tractor cultivation, hand transplanting with various mechanical options, and various set-ups for post harvest handling. This will help growers gauge the efficiency of their own operations as well as give them valuable data with which to assess the impact of purchasing various types of tools and equipment. Beyond a comparison of tools and machines, however, this time and technique research aims to discover and illuminate a wide range of effective methods and approaches including labor management practices and organizational systems that improve overall farm performance and labor efficiency. A series of YouTube videos will document the results of this project.
Ongoing Communication and Updates
If you would like to subscribe to periodic email updates regarding Veggie Compass enter your email address to join our list, and please direct your questions to John Hendrickson.